Pill Popping

Prompt: Addiction


Hello Wednesday,

nano banner 2019

What? No. No! Noooooooo!

I won’t say the following: “What happened to the year?” “WTF?” “I have no clue what to write.” “Should I do this again?” But I promise you, I am thinking those things.

What I will say out loud is that I am ever and always surprised at my reaction to Nanowrimo: my supreme dread and my subsequent commitment to it.

National Novel Writing Month is an annual event wherein new, middling, experienced, or even non- writers decide to participate in a 30 day challenge: to write a 50,000 word novel. The only rule is that you don’t start putting pen to paper until 12:01 am November 1 and succeed if you have at least 50k words by midnight November 30. What you write and how you write and whether you prepare your plot and scenes or write by the seat of your pants is all up to you.

If you choose to jump in, you would go to the website, sign up, and share your progress, chat (if you want to) with other participants via the many forums, and either miss the bus or celebrate your victory, often with Winners’ Offers more substantial than the certificate of success (which I always download and wave around like a fool).

Truth be told, I really would love to give the whole thing a pass this year, but it seems my family and friends are addicted to my annual participation. Any day now I will be getting queries and pep talks. Sigh.

Speaking of addiction, which is today’s prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon popped pills

cartoon staff picks

cartoon addicted rats


Love, peace, and pushy friends,

~~FP

Quick Nap

Prompt: Comfort


Hello Wednesday!

As summer turns to autumn we all put on a cheerful front and declare our love of brown leaves and claim to adore the crisp cold air. At the same time we are chilled and miserable and damp as we put on scratchy socks for the first time since summer and fold up our patio furniture, relegating it to dark corners of the garage.

It’s a comfort issue. Warm breezes are more comfortable than chill ones, bare toes prefer to wiggle freely, an ice-cold drink on a hot day is only marginally rivalled by a hot drink on a bone-chilling near-winter day.

Wait. Those hot steamy mugs sipped while gathered round a fire are almost the definition of comfort. Perhaps we need the un-comfort to truly revel in comfort. Yin and yang, and all that.

In any case, I don’t feel ready for hot chocolate just yet. I would still refer a frosted glass of rosé enjoyed while basking in the illusion of endless summer. For now, anyway.

On the subject of comfort, I’ve been busy writing/compiling an ebook to publish on Kindle, a definite step out of my comfort zone since while publishing is a glorious goal, self-doubt and and impostor-syndrome follow me around too. So I am going to get this book written (it’s a fun guide to setting up a kitchen and pantry for newbies) and out there just to shatter the mystique of publishing. If you like, I’ll announce its launch here when it is on it’s first free Amazon promo.

In the meantime, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, very loosely related to today’s prompt, “comfort”?

 

cartoon cat schedule

 

cartoon old cat

 

cartoon crocs


Peace and comfort,

~~FP

When it’s an elephant

Prompt: Rely


Dear Wednesday,

There’s nothing like a sleepless night to fill your head with possibilities, as long as you don’t rely on your memory to remember the crazy or brilliant ideas that percolate in the head in the wee hours. I was careful the other night and wrote this down: “Alphabet. Every.” Would have been nice if I had elaborated a little. I think it had something to do with each letter of the alphabet having a character of its own which can act as a portal to deeper understanding of the patterns of life. Or something.

In a dream I had, I and a small group were assigned the letter “F” to discover. We were puzzled at the assignment, and started off with a list (for some reason) of fish that started with the letter F, like flounder and flatfish (is that a kind of fish?). Further brainstorming brought us to freedom and friendship, and we were well on the way to defining the character of of the letter F.

It made sense at 3 a.m.

In any case, I may use use this alphabet idea, such as it is, as a kind of writing exercise when I’m stuck for inspiration.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is tangentially related to the prompt, “rely”, even if the others then wander off on a tangent?

cartoon elephant sticky notes

cartoon elepnant in room

cartoon hippo in room


Peace, love, and friendship,

~~FP

Deep Thinker

Prompt: Never write


Helloooo Wednesday,

Do you ever get it? The block? Writer’s block? If so you’ve probably read dozens of articles explaining how to magically overcome your debilitating psychological paralysis — and even that writer’s block doesn’t exist except in our pitiful, excuse-seeking minds.

Well, it does exist and I read an interesting piece about smashing the block in “weird” (according to the author) ways. Let me count the ways…

Change the font on your writing program.

This is simple but strangely brilliant. Switch to a futuristic font for some sci-fi writing, or a flowery font for sentimental stuff, or Comic Sans to spur you on to finish whatever your writing project is. I’m trying this one!

Map your story’s world.

I can do it. My collection of stories takes place in a fictional area I’ve dubbed Echo Valley, and I am keen to set out all the made-up place names and maybe put in some roads and train tracks, just like Sim City, Or maybe I’ll make a community in Sim City!

Write outside your comfort zone.

If you are writing a romance, try sci-fi; or historical fiction instead of kid lit, or poetry instead of fantasy. If you (we) just go for it, it could be fun and also shimmy us out of the block.

You can read the other more conventional but also helpful ways in the full article here. Meanwhile, may I present some of my favourite cartoons, some of them actually related to today’s prompt?

cartoon cook book

cartoon skywriters block

cartoon deep thinker


Peace & love,

~~FP

Go Like This

Prompt: Why do you blog?


Hello Wednesday,

There are lots of tips and strategies out there for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block, many of them Internet clickbait full of obvious and unhelpful instruction (“Just sit down and write!”). I’ve been trying one of the recommended tactics— taking a break from the blank page. This is ideal for someone as lazy as myself, and has had the predictable result (a lot of blank pages).

So how about if I just sit down and write. No edits. Here goes. Any minute now. I feel it coming. Ready? Ok.

Alec Baldwin has one blue eye and one green eye. He is stockier than most people realize, and prefers jeans and a plaid cotton shirt to a crisp dark suit. He is used to the privileges of being a well-paid star and was rather abrupt in his attempt to flirt with me. 

“Sit here,” he said loudly, pointing to an empty chair across from him, as I passed by his crowded table. Sit here? I didn’t even know the man. I walked on.

I was wearing a sleeveless white and navy chevron pattern summer dress, tightly cinched at the waist, and black and white striped platform sandals. 

My sister didn’t believe that Alec Baldwin had invited me, albeit curtly, to sit at his table. In fact, she didn’t believe the man I pointed out to her was Alec Baldwin. 

On second glance, he did look a bit rough around the edges. 

But that is my sister’s role, to invade my dreams with spoilers, and this time I refused to allow it.

Alec Baldwin and his entourage were heading towards the exit on a path that had them pass right beside my sister and I. Perhaps he was leaving because the woman he chose had rebuffed him, and would try his luck elsewhere. In any case he breezed by me as if I were invisible and I felt, rather than saw, my sister’s smirk.

But in passing he clasped my hand and I was jolted along the path to the exit, and we all tumbled outside.

His blue and green eyes were about as clear and full of mischief as I could have hoped. His skin was smoother. He didn’t kidnap me. I shoplifted him.


I’ll just should go straight to the Wednesday cartoons now. Unrelated to prompts, Alec Baldwin, or writer’s block, may I present a few of my recent favourites?

 

cartoon firemen

cartoon duel

cartoon firemen


Serenity now.

~~FP

Perhaps the Room is Too Warm

Prompt: None, it’s NaNoWriMo!

cartton suffer writer


Dear Wednesday,

Here we go on another miserable yet wonderful adventure, also called National Novel Writing Month. I’ve done my 1600 words for the day for a novel tentatively titled Cherity, about something or other I’m not entirely sure of. Anyway, in the first chapter a bomb goes off. Fun!

In keeping with this theme of writing, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, which I did not present yesterday because it was Halloween and ghosts were more important?

cartoon-you-write-to-penny-my-darling-ex-wife-who-nurtured-me-and-suppo-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9178976-8419449

cartoon procrastinating-writer-writing-on-paper-about-his-writing-implements-and-h-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9173157-8419447

cartoon-here-it-is-my-novel-i-ll-be-interested-to-hear-your-compliments-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9181104-8419449


The middle cartoon is me around Nano: I prevaricate, procrastinate, delay, clean my keyboard, download writing apps, try to print out worksheets, order printer ink, wonder what else Staples has on sale, brush the dog, and google “What’s a cool injury”? because I am so bereft of ideas.

To any of you also starting your 50,000 word novel draft today (try it!) good luck and happy writing!

~~FP

Corn for Tallness

Prompt: Express yourself


My dear Wednesday,

I (and you, and anyone) have the opportunity to express myself (yourselves) for thirty days this November, which is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or Nano. The idea is to sit down with a fresh sheet of real or virtual blank paper and start writing— about 1600 words per day for a total of 50,000 words (about the length of Catcher in the Rye) by the end of the month. A first draft of a book. A novel. Written by me/ you.

I’ve met the challenge every five or six times I’ve “competed”— it is an honour system tally. You post your word count to the NaNoWriMo website and your finished manuscript, which they mechanically verify and then declare you a Winner. You get to print out a full colour certificate, frame it, and hang it on the wall of your office or dining room or nail it to the fence.

I am generally a “pantser” which means I start writing without the benefit of detailed outline, as opposed to a “plotter” who organizes most the structure, theme, plot, and characters ahead of time.

This year I am trying the Save the Cat formula, which divides the story into three acts with specific pivotal plot points (called Beats) in each. So I actually have a story outline, but as yet no defined hero character at all.

I realize plot and character are interactive; each forms part of the other. As the plot affects the character, so does the character affect the plot.

…So what makes a compelling character?

I await your answer.

Seriously.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, only the first of which is even tangentially related to today’s casual prompt, “express yourself”?

cartoon decorator-farming-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9180543-8419447

cartoon freshly-ground-pepper-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9476900-8419449

cartoon man-on-deserted-island-writes-tuesday-nov-27-dear-diary-still-no-si-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9168868-8419449


Peace, love, and lots of writing,

~~FP